Louisville receives LEED Silver certification for its sustainability and resilience achievements

December 15, 2021

Mayor Greg Fischer announced today that Louisville has received a LEED Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), an acknowledgement of the city’s work to increase its climate resiliency, manage and reduce urban heat island effects, and improve resident health through green initiatives.

USGBC created the LEED for Cities and Communities rating system to recognize commitments to sustainability, human health and economic prosperity. Louisville joins a global network of more than 130 certified cities and communities.

“From adopting a community-wide climate resilience plan to studying how green space improves resident health through the University of Louisville’s Green Heart research, we’ve demonstrated our commitment to becoming a more sustainable city, which also makes us a safer, healthier and more equitable city,” said Mayor Fischer. “This recognition from the U.S. Green Building Council is the result of tireless work that started with creation of our city’s first-ever sustainability plan a decade ago and has continued with our bold commitment to the goal of 100% clean energy community-wide by 2040. We are excited to receive this certification and build upon it.”

Louisville also is home to multiple LEED certified buildings including the Northeast Library, Kentucky International Convention Center, and the AC Hotel Louisville.

USGBC rates cities based on the following categories: Integrative Process, Natural Systems and Ecology, Transportation and Land Use, Energy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Water Efficiency, Materials and Resources, Quality of Life, and Innovation and Regional Priorities.

Louisville received its highest marks for its Prepare Louisville climate resilience plan, clean water access, sustainability initiatives that help improve human health such as Green Heart, urban heat management initiatives such as the Cool Roofs Incentive Program, and improvements in quality-of-life indicators such as the public-school graduation rate, number of small businesses, unemployment rate, wages, and affordable housing.

“The work of cities and communities such as Louisville is a driving force in ensuring a more sustainable future for all,” said Peter Templeton, USGBC’s president and CEO. “Cities and communities that achieve LEED certification are lowering carbon emissions, creating a healthier environment, and striving to improve the quality of life for their residents. Louisville is setting a standard for what it means to be a high performer, and their efforts and achievements should be an example for all.”

LEED enables Louisville to measure and track outcomes that are evaluated against key metrics that include energy, water, waste, transportation, education, health, safety, prosperity and equitability. Louisville already is making strides to improve upon its Silver certification, including recent actions focused on improving energy efficiency.

Since hiring a full-time energy manager in February, the city has reduced its energy consumption by 15%, saved over $500,000 and avoided 2,200 tons of CO2 equivalent emissions. Louisville also has partnered with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, which will provide recommendations for renewable energy investments and energy efficiency and conservation projects for the city’s facilities.

Also, this year, the city launched two new community-focused sustainability initiatives – the Green Fleet Challenge, which urges companies and other organizations to replace their existing vehicles with battery electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles, and Solar Over Louisville, which will incentivize households to invest in solar by providing access to discounted wholesale rates. Learn more at www.100percentlou.com.

This is the second sustainability recognition that Louisville Metro Government has received recently. The global environmental non-profit CDP recognized Louisville last month with an A List ranking for the second year in a row; the list recognizes major progress in climate action. 

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